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back to article Vendors to push 12in netbooks in 2010

Having steered us first from 7in netbooks to 9in models, and then from those to 10in machines, it now seems Asus, Acer and co. will next year be encouraging us to upgrade to 12in laptops. Recent research from market watcher Canalys showed that, during 2009, the 10in screen became the de facto standard for new netbooks. Rather …

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Grenade

How?

I don't really see how pushing 10-inch netbooks downmarker will fend off ARM based systems. Firstly ARM-based motherboards will be cheaper anyway as they will require less components (ARM SoCs tend to be highly intergrated, more so than Intel's current offerings, as far as I can tell).

What's more, there are already several off-the-shelf ARM SoCs capable of driving HD displays with decent 3D acceleration on top of that (e.g TI's OMAP3 and OMAP4 Cortex-A8/A9 based families), so that's not a barrier either.

Because ARM-based systems draw less power than Atom-based systems, manufacturers can either advertise longer-battery life, or match that of Atom-based systems and save money by using smaller batteries.

I don't think the move to 12in has anything to do with fending off ARM. Its not clear what benefit manufacturers would get from doing that anyway. The only company to gain from fending off any ARM based system is Intel.

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Definition

So what is the definition of Netbook now?

I can see that it may simply be a Laptop without CD/DVD Drive which would make sense and would increase margins a little.

What I cant understand with margins so thin is why the PC makers insist on supplying windows

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Silver badge

They dont understand

The reason that I like netbooks is that because they are small, great for being out & about; not something that I want to use as a main desktop.

Making them 12" is removing my motivation to buy one.

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WTF?

Is it just me...?

Or do the manufacturers seem to have forgotten about the point of a netbook? You know, so cheap that it's virtually a commodity price? I have an Asus EeePc 701 and Acer Aspire One. Both very small light simple machines that get regular use. Neither of them would be half as handy if they had to accommodate a whacking huge 12inch screen. There is still a market for a highly portable sub £200 machine you know.

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Anonymous Coward

Missing the point

An 8.9-inch netbook is really the ideal size. Small enough to handle as a typical novel, making it conveniently portable. Once you go larger, you have to deal with more power-hungry screens and the resulting shorter battery life.

The key attractive features of smartbooks are the over 10-hour battery life (some estimating as high as 20-hours) and the always-on cellular data network connectivity. If people want a notebook (12+ inch screen), they will go for a notebook. Small size and under $300 (USD) price is the market for netbooks.

Manufacturers seem to be missing the point.

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Coat

Projected time to failure?

I think we're about the see the end of the affordable all day computer unfortunately.

If I wanted a 12 inch laptop I would have bought one 3 years ago. 12 inches is a notebook, 10 inches is a netbook, and between is an ugly mash up between that must exist to fill the market. No one will pay 700 dollars for a sub par 12 inch netbook when they can get a mid range 14 inch for 600.

And worse is the smartbook arm idea. While I think it's a good idea to make them, and I would probably use one, unfortunately the average user would not. Want to know why most of the linux netbooks failed miserably and had incredibly high return rates? Because it wasn't windows, and didn't even look like windows. Windows 7 is never going to be ported to ARM, nor is vista or xp. That leaves them with windows mobile, android, or an ARM built Linux version. Do they really think people will want these mobile OSes on a computer? They're going to make money selling them on 3 year contracts, and by the time people realize they hate the OS they won't be able to get rid of it.

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Unhappy

The stupid is making my head hurt

The whole point of netbooks was that they were inexpensive, modestly powered and VERY portable, with excellent battery life, yet were usable as a general computing device (unlike smartphones).

At 12" (and maybe even 10") they just don't appeal to me any more. Now they're too big to be your carry-everywhere super portable second system, yet too small to be the only computer you use. This is why my circa 2002 big bad desktop+Toshiba Portege combo was replaced with one 15" laptop after only a year of use. That not-quite-12" system wasn't really portable enough to be worth the hassle of maintaining two PCs.

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FAIL

Uhuh

<== INDUSTRY

"Margins are already tight on these products, with vendors taking around a mere five per cent of the $410 or equivalent you hand over for your new netbook"

Perhaps they should consider using something other than that margin sucking crapfest from Redmond as an OS?

As things stand, Microsoft make more money from a "netbook" sale than the company who is doing all the hard work.

Apparently the manufacturers are OK with that. I have no idea why.

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Disbelief

Ever notice how analysts always project impossibly high manufacturer costs to the point where they are suggesting these companies must be going bankrupt to give us products?

20 cents per unit my arse!

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